House Ethics Panel Finds No Wrongdoing By GOP Rep. Buchanan

Bill Clark/CQPHO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee has ended a four-year probe into Republican congressman Vern Buchanan of Florida, finding no evidence that the lawmaker violated House rules.

The ethics panel said in a report Friday there is not enough evidence to conclude that Buchanan himself was aware of unlawful payments made by companies affiliated with Buchanan to reimburse campaign contributors. Still, the committee cautions Buchanan to “exercise more diligence over affairs related to his campaign.”

Buchanan is in his fifth term representing the Sarasota area. He has been under scrutiny for several years after a former business partner alleged that Buchanan used straw donors to funnel thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to his campaigns via employees at two car dealerships Buchanan owned.

Buchanan has denied those allegations.

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